Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Go Obama!

From George Packer, writing in this week's New Yorker:

Obama’s ability to contemplate the contradictions in Americans of all colors without going mad—to be made stronger by them—accounts for his power as a politician. He also pays the electorate the supreme compliment of assuming that it, too, can appreciate complexity. ... But it was Nixon’s Checkers speech, with its cheesy confession that he owed his parents thirty-five hundred dollars with interest (and loved America), that carried the day in 1952, and has more or less defined successful campaign rhetoric ever since. It isn’t clear that Obama’s elevated dialogue last week is in the long-term interest of his campaign. ... Obama is a black candidate who can tell Americans of all races to move beyond race. As such, he is uniquely positioned to put an end to this era, and uniquely vulnerable to becoming its latest victim.

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